October 23, 2014 by Bernadette ~ The Bumbling Bookworm
Life of a Blogger is a weekly bookish meme hosted by the lovely Jessi of Novel Heartbeat, shining the spotlight on bloggers on a more personal level 🙂 Every week she chooses a topic and shares about her life, encouraging other bloggers to do the same. Today’s topic is Origin of Your Name.
Origin of my Name
So, while everyone calls me Bernadette, my name is actually Benardina. It’s very traditional in the Italian culture to name children after their grandparents; my younger brother is named after our paternal grandfather, who died when our dad was 5 years old. I was named for our maternal grandmother, who died when our mum was 16 years old.
In our family, the first-born girl is named after their maternal grandmother, so we have a long line of Benardina and Caterina one after the other, all named after one another. But ever since I was born, I’ve always gone by Bernadette, the English version of my name. My parents figured it’d be easier for teachers and kids to say/spell and they did the same with my brother (Giuseppe became Joseph).
On the one hand, I’m glad they did this – it drives me batshit crazy when people pronounce ‘Benardina’ wrong, same with ‘Giuseppe.’ Without the Italian pronounciation, it loses something. It was also easier to deal with going through school, my parents certainly got that part right.
On the other hand, it can be a real pain in the arse now that I’m older being known by two first names. For example, when I’m filling out official documents I sometimes forget and put in Bernadette, and then have to correct it! I look like an idiot who doesn’t even know her own name! Also, when I’m somewhere like the doctor or the dentist and they call out ‘Benardina’, it takes me a while to respond. I’ve never really been called that and, once again, I look like an idiot who doesn’t know her own name… How ridiculous!
Meaning of my Name
According to Think Baby Names:
Bernadette \b(e)-rna-dette, bernad(et)-te\ as a girl’s name is pronounced ber-na-DET. It is of French and Old German origin, and the meaning of Bernadette is “strong, brave bear“. Feminine of Bernard. Saint Bernadette Soubirous (19th century) was a French peasant girl who had visions of the Virgin Mary and uncovered a spring near Lourdes where miraculous cures are sought. The 1943 movie “Song of Bernadette” made it popular among Catholic families. Actress Bernadette Peters.
Read more at http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Bernadette#Kjvgcu3DhuGAtpVh.99
The definition of ‘Benardina’ is the same 🙂
I also read somewhere once that Bernadette means fiercely independent, so my parents got that part right!